|The mogul mom and her three kids|
In 2004, I brought two baby blanket inventions to market and spent $54,300 on:
$15,000 custom e-commerce site; $2,000 custom logo; $1,300 stationery and business card; $2,000 merchant account; $1,000 ProfNet PR Leads; $12,000 publicist; $17,000 advertising; $4,000 Google AdWords.
I'll never do that again! These days you can start a business for about $500. As revenues increase, you can justify additional spending, but you don't need to pour thousands of dollars into your operations until you have the revenue to justify it.
- Postpone the custom website. Start with a blog on Wordpress or Blogger. Templates make it DIY easy. Sell your products and services on eBay, Etsy, and Craigslist. Market your services on Elance.com or Guru.com. They have built-in audiences and transaction tools that send money directly to a PayPal account.
Cost: Transaction fees on product or service sales.
- Grow it! Use free services like Picnik (photo editing), HootSuite (a social media dashboard), Feedburner (RSS feed creator), Clicky (real-time analytics), Survey Monkey (easy surveys), sales pipeline CRM (contact management) and Writeboard (sharable web-based text documents) to grow your business without spending a cent.
Cost: Free until you reach a certain level of usage.
|Ramp up. Tell us how you managed start-up costs.|